Originally Posted by Brian.Samson
Righto.. I've done a bit of reading up on this now and I'm pretty sure I understand the theory on it. (it's more than just a theory though, and it's not 'my' theory - this is accepted ballistics fact and has been for hundreds of years)
So, the mistake you've made in your statement is this..
When the pellet leaves the barrel, it doesn't accelerate to the speed of the wind, it's instantly inserted into a bunch of molecules that are travelling sideways at say 5mph (in the case of a 5mph 90 degree crosswind) relative to the ground.
So it doesn't accelerate to 5mph, it's not moving sideways at all (relative to the air molecules). Relative to the ground it is moving sideways, but not relative to the air which it is now a part of.
Now how this relates to the theory behind this thread is - if a pellet spends less time in the wind it will without any shadow of a doubt take less wind. So, in theory the pellet with the highest velocity when it reaches the target is likely to be the one that spends less time in the wind. I say likely, because it relies on how accurate you think the trajectory calculation is (and I think it's pretty accurate).
If the pellet starts off not travelling laterally relative to the ground, and ends up travelling laterally relative to the ground, then it has accelerated to that velocity.
Air isn't solid. The pellet is "inserted" into space, a space containing O2 and N2 molecules flying about and bumping into it and each other. It cannot instantly adopt the state of motion of the air, if that is different relative to the pellet. It has to accelerate to that velocity. The energy to do that is imparted to it by more collisions on one side than the other.